VietNamNet Bridge – The Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC) is considering collecting fees for additional Internet interconnection or setting up the charges for every connection.



More Internet peering disputes reported

Under the current regulations, telecom groups have the right to connect their networks with other enterprises’ networks and have the obligation of letting others’ networks connect with their networks on the basis of mutual benefits. However, more and more Internet peering dispute cases have occurred.

A senior official of the MIC’s Telecommunication Department said the network in Vietnam is far different from the networks in other countries. Only several telcos have infrastructure systems, while most of the others are Internet content or domain name firms.

He also said some important issues have not been mentioned in the currently applied legal documents on the operation of the Vietnam National Internet Exchange VNIX. These include the regulation on the increase of the interconnection capacity to ensure the normal quality of services once the traffic exceeds 85 percent for 7 consecutive days.

Also according to the official, the Decree No. 25, which guides the implementation of the Telecommunication Law, stipulates that MIC is in charge of setting up the peering fee frames. However, in an effort of stimulate the market development, the watchdog agency now allows telcos negotiate themselves to define the fees.

Ngo Trong Hieu, Deputy General Director of CMC Telecom, confirmed that in late 2012, the firm many times sent petitions to MIC to report about the disputes and request the solutions to the current problems. Some temporary solutions have been applied, but Hieu said they would be only effective for now.

“We wish to see the necessary regulations on Internet peering to be promulgated soon, so that we can ensure the best quality for our services,” HIeu said.

MIC may charge fees on additional interconnection

MIC has said that it may issue some more regulations on Internet peering in order to settle the disputes among telcos. Service providers have been told to send reports to the ministry about the methods of calculating interconnection fee for approval and supervision.

The Telecommunication Department is considering some solutions.

In the first suggested solution, Internet firms would be classified into different groups of Internet service providers (ISP), content service providers…. If so, the Internet firms of the same groups would be able to have Internet peering without having to pay fees.

In fact, the solution has been applied in the US, UK, Japan, South Korea, Australia and France already. In these countries, peering fees are not charged on the telcos of the same groups.

In another solution, all Internet firms would be considered as on equal footing with each other. The peering fee would be charged on the firms which have the gaps between the input and output capacity reaching certain levels. The fees would be set up by MIC.

A senior executive of Viettel, one of the Vietnamese biggest telecom groups, has confirmed that enterprises cannot negotiate with each other and that the intervention of the watchdog agency is necessary in this case.

This has been explained by the conflict in the interests between content firms and infrastructure firms, and among the firms with infrastructure systems.

Not only the small fish complain that they have been blocked by the big fish. VDC, a big guy, has complained that an enterprise has blocked the accesses from 3G subscribers to the websites being hosted at VDC, which should be seen as a violation of the Information Technology Law.

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